The 15 least expensive cities to live in America

  • The Bureau of Economic Analysis recently released its estimates of the relative cost of living in America’s metropolitan and rural areas in 2017.
  • The 15 least expensive metro areas were all in the South and Midwest.
  • The least expensive metro area in the US was Beckley, West Virginia.
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The Bureau of Economic Analysis recently released its annual estimates of the relative cost of living in America’s metropolitan and rural areas.

Specifically, the BEA published its regional price parities for 2017. These compare the price levels for various goods and services in different areas to the average national price.

For example, the Jackson, Tennessee, metropolitan area had a regional price parity of 82.2. That meant prices there were 82.2% as high as the national average, or in other words, 17.8% lower than average.

Read more: The 15 most expensive cities in America

The map above shows regional price parities for each of America’s 383 metropolitan areas and the non-metropolitan areas of states. Regions in blue were less expensive than the national average, and regions in red were more expensive.

Smaller metro areas in the South and Midwest tended to be less expensive than larger cities. All of the 15 cities with the lowest regional price parities were in those two regions.

Here are the 15 metro areas with the lowest cost of living, according to the BEA:


15. Cleveland, TN, had a price level 16.9% lower than the national average.

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Google Maps

14. Pine Bluff, AR, had a price level 17.2% lower than the national average.

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Paul Sableman/Flickr

13. Albany, GA, had a price level 17.3% lower than the national average.

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Twister3328/Wikimedia Commons

T11. Cape Girardeau, MO-IL, had a price level 17.6% lower than the national average.

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Larry J. Summary/Wikimedia Commons/Share Alike

T11. Jonesboro, AR, had a price level 17.6% lower than the national average.

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City of Jonesboro, AR – Government/Facebook

10. Gadsden, AL, had a price level 17.7% lower than the national average.

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Prestinian/Wikimedia Commons/Public Domain

9. Jackson, TN, had a price level 17.8% lower than the national average.

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Thomas R. Machnitzki/Wikimedia Commons/Attribution

8. Carbondale-Marion, IL, had a price level 18.1% lower than the national average.

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Wikimedia Commons

7. Hattiesburg, MS, had a price level 18.3% lower than the national average.

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Dudemanfellabra/Wikimedia Commons

6. Valdosta, GA, had a price level 18.7% lower than the national average.

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Valdosta, A City Without Limits/Facebook

5. Jefferson City, MO, had a price level 18.9% lower than the national average.

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iStock / gnagel

4. Rome, GA, had a price level 19.1% lower than the national average.

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Cculber007/Wikimedia Commons/Public Domain

3. Morristown, TN, had a price level 19.7% lower than the national average.

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Wikimedia/Home4tnindustry

2. Danville, IL, had a price level 21.1% lower than the national average.

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A grain mill in Danville, IL
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Daniel Schwen, via Wikimedia Commons

1. Beckley, WV, had a price level 24.7% lower than the national average.

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Aspen Photo/Shutterstock